“There wasn’t a lot of pre-production for What’s The Story. . .If we were at home, the postman would drop off an envelope and in it would be a cassette saying ‘Noel demos’. You’d get a phone call: ‘There’s the next album. Learn it. See you in a week.’ That’s the way Noel worked. Everyone would figure out the chords – there was no point asking him, he didn’t know the name of the fucking things. ‘It’s one of them where your finger’s up there. . .’”
This is Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, looking back at the somewhat haphazard way one of the biggest-selling UK albums of all time came together in his introduction to the latest instalment in our series of Ultimate Music Guides, this one dedicated to Oasis, who in their illustrious pomp swept all before them before the always-simmering tensions between permanently squabbling siblings Noel and Liam Gallagher, for many years an entertaining if occasionally wearying distraction, came to a brutal climax in August 2009 at the Rock et Seine festival in Paris.
A backstage argument between the two ended with Noel walking out on the band that for just over a decade has held such omnipotent sway over British rock. Two hours later, he released a statement announcing “with some sadness and great relief. . . .I quit Oasis tonight”. Noel went off and formed The High Flying Birds. Liam and what was left of the final Oasis line-up became Beady Eye, with a promise from Liam that they would be “bigger than Oasis”, which is not something they have yet become, despite Liam’s initial post-split bravado.
Anyway, 20 years on from the release of Definitely, Maybe, our Ultimate Music Guide, as ever, brings together a collection of predictably colourful and eventful interviews from the archives of Melody Maker, NME and Uncut , a fantastic trawl that’s supplemented by new, in-depth reviews of every Oasis album and the albums that have followed by High Flying Birds and Beady Eye, plus a full Oasis singles discography, including rarities and most valuable collectables.
Oasis: the Ultimate Music Guide is on sale from Thursday, March 13 and will also available to order online at www.uncut.co.uk/store or download digitally at www.uncut.co.uk/digital-edition.
To get you in the mood here’s a clip of Oasis making their TV debut on The Word from 1994.
Have a good week.